Since survivors appreciate remembering the “good times” of their loved one, share your memories in a note. Far more cherished than preprinted sympathy cards are handwritten notes that begin, “I’ll never forget the time that. . .” or, “Let me tell you why _______ meant so much to me,” or “Your father was . . .”
For example, I could say to my nephews and nieces, when remembering my brother’s death: “Your dad was such a tease. I remember one time when your Aunt Loretta and I decided to sleep outside in a tent, and we were just settling down when something huge hit our tent. We were sure it was a bear and we ran screaming and crying into the house. It seems that your dad had decided to go to bed early that night, and had quietly climbed out a window onto the roof and had thrown a basketball as hard as he could at our tent. He thought that the whole thing was so funny!”
If I was speaking directly to my nieces and nephews then I could say, “I bet that you have lots of fun stories about your dad. I sure would love to hear some of your stories.”
A woman from our caregiving handbook said, “When my seven-year-old son died, one of the most thoughtful things that several people did was to give me pictures and even a video-tape of my son, which I had never seen before. What a treasure.”
Those who are grieving want to know that others remember their grief and their loved one. To remember is a precious gift.
For more information on this topic, listen to the podcasts: what to say on the anniversary of someone’s death and invite conversation on the anniversary of someone’s death